Results tagged “New York Classical Theater” from ARTicles

OUR TOWN CAST.jpg"It's a two-hour version with no intermission, and it's very action-packed," said Mr. Burdman, who's directing the play. Audiences will be able to get in on the action to some extent by following the show as it moves around the center. "Wear comfortable shoes," Mr. Burdman said. "We've got seven flights of stairs." NYT 3/5/2010

This New York Times excerpt is from a story about a New York Classical Theater production of "Hamlet" directed by the company's artistic director Stephen Burdman. The show is in rehearsal for its opening in April at the World Financial Center, a sprawling space in Lower Manhattan. But the excerpt also tells us a little something about the increasing power of audience participation in live theater - in its process and performance. It's the age of the video games and reality TV, after all, and we want live theater to be engaging not only of our minds but of our bodies, too. We want to be stakeholders in the narrative. Theatergoers and even passersby who witness a sword fight between two Danes downtown should not be alarmed. It's just art. And on the night of the show, you can fully expect to use those comfortable shoes to "get in on the action."

Live theater is now a performance event for everyone!

In Cambridge, Mass., where I live, American Repertory Theater's artistic director Diane Paulus has put muscle into audience participation. Last year, she re-staged her crowd-inclusive "Donkey Show"; it's now running indefinitely in the theater's annex space where nearly nightly crowds turn out to dance alongside the "Midsummer Night's Dream"-cum-Studio 54 disco cast. One addict apparently has seen the show 30 times. (I've been three times.)

March 11, 2010 7:22 PM |


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